Speaker's Age: 21
Story Told In: 2008
397

A long-time friend of mine and I decided to take things further about six months ago. I was thrilled-- I had found a friend first and then a lover. He cared about me so much and showed it. I still feel this way.

We started having sex soon after we started dating. We were always careful, we knew the possibility of pregnancy and we both agreed that we didn’t even want to go there. We had seen the stresses an unplanned pregnancy could bring when we looked at friends, and family members. I knew I wasn’t ready. Plus I was in university-- I had long term goals and ambitions.

Sometimes (two or three times), when the condoms had run out, we would practice the art of withdrawal. I knew it was stupid, but .... we did it anyway. I wasn’t worried. He was pretty good with it-- he pulled out on time and on schedule.

One night, things did not go according to time-- he didn’t pull out. The first thing he said was, “Oh shit!” I froze and stared at him. “I'm sorry baby, I don’t know what happened.” I did. He had lost control. “Aren't you on the pill?” he asked me. I shook my head and reminded him I told him I was off the pill when I got sick while taking other pills. That day (within 24 hrs) I took Plan B. But I guess I was already pregnant...and it was too late. I will never forget the day I conceived.

I cried so hard that day and I called the help-line. The nurse told me to wait until my next period to be sure. I told my boyfriend that our lives could change in a week. We kind of joked about it. One week later he asked me if I got my period yet, and I said no. He didn’t believe me, he touched my bottom and felt the pad I had put there (just in case)... I just smiled at him. “Don’t scare me like that,” he said, relieved (though he told me, and I knew, that he would be there for me if I got pregnant) – I never brought the issue up again.

Three positive home pregnancy tests, one positive clinical pregnancy test, and a million times looking at pregnancy symptoms online later, I still couldn’t believe I was pregnant. I denied it up until I walked into the Mongentaler clinic and the ultrasound lady told me I was eight weeks.

Deciding to have an abortion, for myself and by myself, was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I've cried so much and try so hard not to just sit at home and become depressed. The procedure was horrible. I felt the tugging, pulling, and the destruction of what was inside me. It hurt so bad to lie there and allow the doctor to do this. That's how I felt. I remember crying and thinking, “what have I done?” The excruciating physical pain I felt in my insides (even now, a week after my abortion) I see as my punishment. I had sworn I would and could never have an abortion years ago-- it was against what I believed in-- and I am carrying the burden of my secret alone.

I suppose I had an abortion for selfish reasons: my life, my personal goals, my boyfriends' life and goals, my parents (disappointment and shame), the fact that I'm not even supposed to be having sex (according to my parents and the religious beliefs I grew up with). I knew I would love my child, but it wasn’t the time. No one was ready for one (not me, my boyfriend, my parents, or my life). I do not regret my decision-- things are pretty much the same, at least in the lives of everyone else who would be affected by me having a child. I told myself that if I am doing this alone (the pregnancy and the abortion), then I have to deal with it alone and not let my pain be evident. When I think about how happy they are without added stresses, I exhale.

Right now I am OK. I am still trying not to be angry and forgive my boyfriend and myself. I recently discovered Midol helps a lot with the physical pain. The emotional will always be there, I think. Sometimes I cry-- when I think about what I did and how it felt, sometimes when I see babies and happy pregnant women, and when I think about what could have been. I wish the morning after pill would have worked. This event will forever be a memory in my life-- I will never forget the baby I gave up on July 23rd, 2008. I love you, baby. Forgive me. I live with you in mind.